Pastor Ben R. McKee (CW4 Ret.) of Elba passed away on Wednesday, November 4, 2020. He was 78.
Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, November 7, 2020 at Sorrells Funeral Home in Enterprise with Reverend Sonny Moore, Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, Reverend Craig Bailey and Mark Guinn officiating. Burial will be at Mars Hill Cemetery in Tecumseh, Oklahoma at a later date. The family will receive friends at the funeral home Saturday beginning at 9:00 a.m. and continue until time of service. Face masks are required to attend the visitation and service.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Edgar and Grangia Mckee; his daughter Gari Sue Smith; son, Ben L. McKee; son, Cecil “Scooter”; brother and sister-in-law, Glenn and Laura McKee; brother and sister-in-law, Swive and Louise McKee; sister-in-law, Sylvia McKee; and brother-in-law, Jim Kunard.
Survivors include his wife of over 36 years, Martha McKee; sons, Carl Lee Price of Clio, AL and Gary T. Price (Gina) of Enterprise, AL; brothers, Dutch McKee (Martha) and Max McKee both of Oklahoma City, OK; sister, Pat Kunard of Tecumseh, OK; daughter-in-law, Penny Gregory; grandchildren: Samantha Sheppard (Ryan), John Price, Ethan Price (Lindsey), Carlee Price, Ashley McKee, Amanda Bray (Johnathan), Kylan, Zeke, Destiny, Wyatt, Crystal and Chris; 12 great-grandchildren; and one great-great grandchild.
God called Pastor Ben McKee into the ministry at the early age of 18; however he rain from the call and spent 27 years on the U.S. Army, including two combat tours in Vietnam. He retired in 1987 as a Chief Warrant Officer W4 and director of the Warrant Officer Career College, Fort Rucker, AL.
After several miracles in Ben’s first Vietnam tour that spared his life, Ben finally submitted to God’s call and during his 2nd Vietnam tour, he headed up an evangelism group for the Chaplains in Da Nang, Vietnam.
Returning home, Ben began his preaching in a Free Will Baptist Church in Enterprise. Reassigned to Korea, Ben established and led a Church School for seven chapels of different denominations, led a street ministry in Tongduchon, and formed a Gospel singing group called “God’s Country Singers” who toured Korea and ministered on the Armed Forces Radio Network. He has written many Gospel songs and recorded 10 of them on a CD entitled, “A Soldier of God and Country”.
Ben married the lovely Martha Ann Price of Abbeville, after a courtship of one year and have proven their friends who introduced them to be correct when they said Ben and Martha would make the perfect couple.
Brother Ben, as he prefers to be called and Martha entered the pastorate by accepting the charge of the First United Methodist Church of New Brockton, AL and spent 20 years pastoring that church. He completed his Masters Degree in Counseling and Phycology at Troy University and graduated from the Pastor’s School of Study, Candler School of Theology, Emory University during the first 10 years of Pastoring. During Pastor McKee’s tenure, the New Brockton Church was twice voted the District Church of the year and once as the Alabama/West Florida Church of the Year. Ben received the District Evangelism awards for souls led to Christ.
He has held revivals throughout Alabama, in Oklahoma and Virginia and preached in Korea, Hawaii and Apia Samoa. Pastor McKee is described by his former parishioners as a Spirit Filled, Bible Preaching, Guitar Picking, Gospel Singing, People Loving pastor and evangelist who preaches the Gospel the same yesterday, today and forever.
During his last 14 years, Ben also supervised the operation of his and Martha’s poultry, cattle and timber farm and served as Pastor of the First United Methodist Church of New Brockton, AL.
Having a father and four brothers who had served in combat in WWI, WWII or Korea, Ben enlisted in the Army on December 13, 1960. Within five years, he rose to the grade of SFC E7, Personnel Management NCO and retired as a Chief Warrant Officer Four.
His military awards include: Bronze Star Medal (two Oak Leaf Clusters – three awards), Meritorious Service Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters – four awards), Army Commendation Medal (six Oak Leaf Clusters – seven awards), Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal (two awards), National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with one Silver Start and one Bronze Star, Humanitarian Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm and Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Medal.
After retirement for the Army in 1987 Mr. McKee he taught the Commissioned Aviation Course, Civilian Personnel Courses, the Reserve Component CGSC Course and all the Warrant Office Courses at Fort Rucker, Alabama which he did for over 27 years. His love of life was teaching Warrant Officers and Candidates to bring them to their highest potential.
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First United Methodist Church of New Brockton
118 Dawkins Street, New Brockton AL 36351